Tag Archives: God

The God Particle

“I believe that God is in me as the sun is in the colour and fragrance of a flower ­– the Light in my darkness, the Voice in my silence.” —Helen Keller.

Most of us think of God as being outside, up there, or elsewhere. “He is high and lifted up,” said the prophet Isaiah. And shouldn’t He be since He is so holy? What’s remarkable is that the God who dwells in unapproachable light (1 Timothy 6:16) can also dwell in us feeble and broken humans and is willing to do so. “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16).

One of my most life-changing insights was when God showed me what resided at my spiritual center. I had expected something dark or sinister, but what I beheld at my deepest core blew me away. It was God Himself. I already believed that God’s Spirit dwelt inside me, but I’d been taught that the Spirit ebbed and I needed to ask to be refilled every day as if my spiritual tank would run dry if I didn’t. It had never occurred to me that God was an enduring and integral part of my spiritual makeup. God is the foundation onto which my soul is built.

God Within Us

Water drops in the atmosphere, such as those in clouds, are created when water vapor condenses on tiny particles of dust. At the center of every water drop is a tiny particle. I now see my soul in the same way. My soul is wrapped around a tiny particle of God, but this particle is infinite, boundless. If I were to plunge into my innermost center, I would find God in His fullness. The deeper I descend into the ever-tighter center-point, the more spacious the view.

When shopping yesterday, I became awestruck on realizing that everyone around me was also a God particle wrapped in a soul. People have inestimable value because they carry God within them. Each of us contains a “drop of glory.”1

St. Teresa of Avila was a sixteenth-century nun and mystic who wrote Interior Castle. In her book, she described the soul as a castle with a series of mansions though which one journeys toward the central mansion. She wrote that God’s mansion “is the centre of the soul itself.”2 I interpret her statement to mean that God Himself dwells at our innermost center.

Flow From Within

In my book, Four in the Garden, Cherished learned that he could connect to Creator via a special connection found at his innermost center. This divine connection was called an umbilicore. It functioned as a spiritual umbilical cord from which he received nourishment from Creator. As in the story, God dwells inside us at our center, and His Life flows outward to nourish our souls.

God’s Spirit or God’s Life is often described as a spring of water that wells up inside us. In John 7:37, Jesus said, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” The flow of living water comes from our innermost center because that’s where God dwells.

God’s Accessibility

Having God at my center implies that God is always accessible to me. I used to view God like a switch that would get turned off if I felt unworthy or guilty. I pictured Him as moving further away depending on my behavior. Then I would have to work to close the gap between us. But, now, I only need to find God at my center, and my experience of God is almost immediate. It sounds too easy.

Believing that I’m connected to God enables my connection. Feelings of doubt will shut it down. If I don’t believe that I can connect to God, then I don’t. Unworthiness or guilt still interfere, but the best cure for those things is connecting to God. So I push past those feelings, find God, and connect to Him, then those feelings fade away.

I realize that what I’m describing is not most people’s experience of God. God is elusive or distant for most. My intent in writing this is to declare that God is not far away from you. He is closer than you think, closer than your own breath. He is at your innermost center and available to you. We haven’t been taught how to look for God. We don’t know how to look inward, but that’s where God is found. It’s also where your soul is found. Navigating the soul’s treacherous terrain requires courage. To find God, we much deal with the stuff in our souls because that stuff gets in the way.

Press in. Dig deep. Gaze into your soul. Deal with your stuff. If you persevere, you will encounter God. The goal isn’t to encounter God or to connect to God although those experiences can be fulfilling. The true goal is to fall in love with God and to nurture a relationship with Him. In the context of relationship we come to know God in a way that transcends what we read in a book. God becomes real to us, and we become a conduit as He flows out from our innermost being into the lives of others.

1 Rick Hocker, Four in the Garden, page 185
2 St. Theresa of Avila, Interior Castle, page 154

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Rick Hocker is a game programmer, artist, and author. In 2004, he sustained a back injury that left him bed-ridden in excruciating pain for six months, followed by a long recovery. He faced the challenges of disability, loss of income, and mounting debt. After emerging from this dark time, he discovered that profound growth had occurred. Three years later, he had a dream that inspired him to write his award-winning book, Four in the Garden. His goal was to help people have a close relationship with God and to share the insights he gained from the personal transformation that resulted from his back injury. He lives in Martinez, California.

For more articles, visit http://www.rickhocker.com/articles.html
Website: http://www.rickhocker.com
Email: mail@rickhocker.com

A Solitary Adam, without Eve

One of the most dramatic detours from the Garden of Eden story is that Four in the Garden explores the relationship between one person and God. In the Garden of Eden story, God created a companion for Adam because none of the animals proved to be a suitable companion for him. In the book, Four in the Garden, Creator chose to not create a companion for Cherished because He wanted nothing to distract from their relationship. That relationship is the focus of the story and that’s why I made the decision that Cherished would not have a companion or even a pet. So many things distract us from our relationship with God and yet that relationship is so important to God.

Removing the Trappings that Trip Us

Four in the Garden takes place in a primordial world, before rules and before religion. There is no church, no organized system of worship, no predefined code of conduct. Just God. I found this the ideal setting to depict God because I could describe a relationship with God without all the trappings of religion or culture or history. I could depict this relationship in a pure form as it ought to be portrayed. In its writing, I was careful to avoid words that are religiously loaded terms such as God, faith and sin.

I wanted to show what a relationship with God might look like, complete with the full range of emotions that accompany any meaningful relationship. We experience joy and disappointment,  understanding and frustration in human relationships and our relationship with God is no different. I believe that our relationship with God develops in the same way as our other relationships develop, as we learn to task risks, be honest and trust more and more. We have setbacks. We misunderstand. We get angry. But if we value the relationship, we work through those issues and hopefully grow closer.

An Intimate God

When we think of emotional intimacy, we rarely think of God. Yet, God created intimacy. Not only that, but God is capable of deep intimacy. Some people were put off by the intimacy Creator showed the main character, Cherished, in my book, Four in the Garden. Why is it so easy to imagine a loving father snuggling with his child, but so difficult to picture a heavenly Father being intimate and playful with a child of His? We struggle with that image because it is not our experience. And yet, our discomfort with it prevents us from experiencing it. God desires intimacy with us, but only to the extent we allow it.

God and Brussels Sprouts

People seem to either love or hate Brussels sprouts. People who hate them made that determination because they have tried them at least once in their lives. Then you have those people who have spurned God because they tried that once, too, and they didn’t like it or it didn’t work for them. But I wonder what it was they tried.

When people reject God, often they are rejecting their perception of God. That perception is based on upbringing, religious teaching, church/temple experience, and encounters with religious people. How many people have actually encountered God directly? Many of those who fall in that category would say the experience was positive.

Pure Relationship with God

In writing Four in the Garden, I tried to present a relationship with God in the purest form possible, stripping away religious and man-made obstacles. The ideal I aimed for was to give people a direct experience with God.

One person reading the book explained his surprise at being presented with a relationship with God that he found workable, one that he had never considered before. He is struggling to know what to do with that information. I suppose that if a person is being shown an open door, then he must make a decision whether to walk through it.

What is an Umbilicus?

In the story, Four in the Garden, the umbilicus is presented as a unique connection to God, a channel through which God’s life flows into us. Spiritual abundance is often compared to a well or fountain that overflows and spills out from within. The dictionary definition of umbilicus is “center” and this makes sense, since it is our inward center where God intersects us and fills us with His spiritual nourishment. God fills us from the inside out, not the other way around. The umbilicus is our spiritual connection to God and to the abundant, divine life that He brings to our souls.

Why the book?

In February 2007, I had a dream. I dreamt that I was sitting in a college religion class. The class was discussing a book that presented a world where God had created only one person. The story described the growing relationship between this person and God. When I awoke, I concluded that God wanted me to write this story, believing that it had not yet been told. I started writing later that year, beginning with a chapter in the middle of the book. It didn’t take me long to discover that I didn’t know how to write a book. In September 2009, I found a writer’s workshop that I have been attending ever since. My writing teacher, Sue Clark, is brilliant and I have learned so much from her. With her help and thirteen revisions later, I finished my manuscript on February 7th of this year. Over time, the book gained a life of its own and took me places I didn’t expect to go. I take that as a good sign and hope that the journey for the reader will be as rewarding as it has been for me.